5 Early Warning Signs Of Cervical Cancer

Understanding Cervical Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, cervical cancer is most commonly diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44. However, women of any age are still at risk. Understanding the symptoms and risk factors can help with early detection. Here’s what every woman should know.

Early signs of cervical cancer
Early detection of cervical cancer is key to increasing survival. It is very important to know the following symptoms.

Vaginal bleeding (after s.ex, between periods, or after menopause)
Abnormal vaginal discharge (heavy or foul-smelling)
Pain during intercourse
Pelvic pain
Lower back pain
Leg swelling and pain
Unexplained weight loss
Loss of appetite
Risk factors for cervical cancer
There is no sure way to know what causes any type of cancer, but there are risk factors that increase your chances of developing cervical cancer. Understanding the following risk factors can help you make healthy changes to lower your risk.

HPV – human papilloma virus is one of the main risks of developing cervical cancer. There are more than 100 types of HPV infection, but HPV16 and HPV18 are most commonly associated with cervical cancer.
Smoking – chemicals in cigarettes increase the risk of cervical cancer in women who smoke. Secondhand smoke also plays a role.
Weakened immune systems – HIV-infected women are at increased risk of developing cervical cancer because they cannot effectively fight off HPV infection.
Lack of access to health care – women who do not have access to regular health care or cancer screening may be at higher risk.
Family history – having a family member diagnosed with cervical cancer is a risk factor.
Prevention of cervical cancer
Cervical cancer cannot be completely prevented, but there are things you can do to reduce your risk. Here are some tips:

Cervical Cancer Screening – Regular Pap tests can help with early detection.
HPV vaccination – HPV is one of the risk factors for cervical cancer, so the HPV vaccine can help prevent it. Talk to your doctor to see if you are a candidate for the HPV vaccine.
Practice safe sex – HPV is sexually transmitted. Practicing safe sex can reduce the risk of HPV.
Quit smoking – smoking is a risk factor for many types of cancer, including cervical cancer. Stopping now can help reduce your risk.
If you are concerned about your risk of cervical cancer, we are here to help.

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